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Whither the Reuben sandwich?


Pierogi
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What's with Thousand Island on a Reuben? I always thought Russian dressing was traditional.

1000 Island is just a variant of the original Russian and is easier to find if you are using bottled dressing. Also, lots of modern bottled "Russian" dressings seem to have dropped the mayo or yoghurt component(I know the one distributed by Alabama Sysco has)so 1000 Island is closer to the original than those .

ETA:

This is Wishbone's Russian dressing ingredient list:

corn syrup, soybean oil, water, tomato paste, high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, salt, beet juice concentrate (for color), spices, lemon juice concentrate, yeast extract, garlic, xanthan gum, maltodextrin (corn, wheat), (sorbic acid, calcium disodium edta) used to protect quality, onion powder, natural flavors, sugar, onion, paprika

As you can see, there is no mayo/yoghurt component anymore (IYAM it's not really Russian dressing).

Edited by BadRabbit (log)
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Good point about the Wishbone Russian. But good old homemade Russian dressing that uses Heinz ketchup has the following ingredients (as well as whatever is in the mayo)

TOMATO CONCENTRATE FROM RED RIPE TOMATOES, DISTILLED VINEGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SALT, SPICE, ONION POWDER, NATURAL FLAVORING.

Not too bad I guess.

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ETA: Around here (Nebraska, home of the original) its mostly thousand island these days. I like to add just a little horseradish to a good store bought thousand island. Sounds weird, tastes great on the sandwich.

Actually, I've been told that's basically McDonald's "secret sauce": Thousand Island dressing, and some horseradish.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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ETA: Around here (Nebraska, home of the original) its mostly thousand island these days. I like to add just a little horseradish to a good store bought thousand island. Sounds weird, tastes great on the sandwich.

Actually, I've been told that's basically McDonald's "secret sauce": Thousand Island dressing, and some horseradish.

The traditional Russian has horseradish in it. 1000 Island is essentially Russian minus horseradish plus pickles.

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Interesting side discussion about the Russian/Thousand Island dressing. And, thanks to this thread, made corned beef and cabbage for Wednesday night. And last night? Reubens, of course. Nice, flat, crispy, grilled Reubens.

As I was eating, I was thinking that, for me anyway, it's the perfect sandwich.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I take a small hunk of sauerkraut, flatten it into a patty approximately the shape of the bread I'm using, put it between two paper towels, roll a bottle or rolling pin over it to dry it out as much as possible so that it doesn't make the sandwich soggy, put my sauerkraut "patty" onto the grill for a couple of seconds, turn it once, then put it onto my rye bread that I've smeared with Thousand Island, and onto which I've first placed a few slices of corned beef, top the sauerkraut with a couple of slices of Swiss cheese, put the second piece of bread on top, smear it liberally with melted butter, put the whole assembled sandwich onto the grill with the buttered bread side down, smear more butter over the top piece of bread, grill until the bottom slice is crispy and crunchy, turn the entire sandwich over so that the other piece grills to crispy and crunchy perfection and the cheese melts and seals the whole thing together.

Often, I'll even put a weight on top of the sandwich while I'm grilling to be sure it winds up thin, crispy, crunchy, and perfect.

That's almost exactly how I do mine. I don't make the kraut into a patty, just dry it and toss it loose on the griddle long enough that it just starts to caramelize the edges. I like to add just a (very thin) slice of good pastrami, all pulled apart, to the corned beef and I also give the meat a quick run on the griddle. I think having the meat and kraut hot from the beginning just makes the cheese that much more...melty. Good Swiss cheese in a must, but I like to add just a little grated Comte' right in the middle. The weight on top is essential in my mind. Like Jaymes said, crispy, crunchy perfection.

ETA: Around here (Nebraska, home of the original) its mostly thousand island these days. I like to add just a little horseradish to a good store bought thousand island. Sounds weird, tastes great on the sandwich.

Can I come eat with y'all? It'd be worth falling off the gluten-free wagon.

A few years ago, when my father was ill, I would go home every weekend. One weekend he said, "I wish I could have a good Reuben." So I went to Fresh market, got the good corned beef, the good swiss, the good sauerkraut, good rye bread, took it to his house, made him a Reuben. He thought it was wonderful, and I took the makings of a Reuben to his house every weekend from then until he passed on, and I've been inordinately fond of a Reuben ever since.

However, the best one I ever had was in the Senate dining room.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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What's with Thousand Island on a Reuben? I always thought Russian dressing was traditional.

As somebody said, good, thick, commercially-prepared Thousand Island is much easier to find than Russian. And as it's basically the same flavor profile, that's what I go with.

I like Marie's. That's the thick salad dressing you find with the chilled produce.

Someone mentioned Dijon mustard.

Particularly interesting to me is the fact that the recipe for the mini-Reubens that I always make for football/Superbowl watching parties (the exact recipe is in one of those "Superbowl" threads, if anyone's interested) call for the traditional Reuben ingredients arranged on slices of party rye bread and then run under a broiler for a few minutes for the cheese to melt. That recipe calls for Dijon. I decided to try it with the more traditional spread for Reubens - Thousand Island or Russian - and it was nowhere nearly so good as with Dijon. I was quite surprised at that. I like my sandwiches much better with the Thousand Island/Russian, but those mini-Reuben bites just didn't come out as flavorful with the traditional as they did with the Dijon. Not sure why, but I think it might be that the mini-Reubens have no top piece of bread, so you've got half as much dressing and you need it to pack more of a flavor punch.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 1 month later...

I didn't realize that horseradish was a traditional component in Russian dressing and REALLY didn't know that McDonalds added it in their 'special sauce'. It's been a while since I've had a Big Mac though. Just a little horseradish is spectacular with the corned beef, mixed into a good quality 1000 Island dressing.

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I do believe my favorite reuben in Oakland fits all your criteria. House pastrami, russian dressing, house kraut with melted swiss on dark toasted rye. So much good pastrami piled on the fixin's. And then some side stuff I don't really care about. This is a once a week thing for me.

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Sorry, if it's not corned beef, it's not a Rubin! If it has pastrami, it becomes a Rachel. I want one of each, please! :wub::wink:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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